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Citigroup, Commerce One Build B2B Portal

Financial services giant Citigroup and e-commerce heavyweight Commerce One agreed to a launch a business-to-business portal providing e-commerce services to Citigroup's corporate customers.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Citigroup's e-Citi unit, which provides financial services and e-commerce, will employ the Commerce One (CMRC) MarketSite portal solution to create a virtual marketplace linking corporate buyers and suppliers to the new Citibank Procurement Connection portal. The new destination will process transactions and host vendor catalogs as well as market specific applications addressing the needs of particular industries.

In return, Citigroup will become the primary financial service provider on the Commerce One MarketSite Global Trading Portal, which will enable all buying organizations trading on MarketSite to take use of Citibank's financial services. These services will also be made available through the Commerce One Global Trading Web.

e-Citi will launch its global trading portal in early 2000 to provide hosted procurement applications to businesses and governments. In addition to linking buyers and sellers, the portal will benefit participating enterprises through distinctive financial service features, such as immediate online executable currency exchange rates, financing, procurement card capabilities and digital certificates, the companies said.

Ed Horowitz, senior corporate officer of Citigroup, described the venture as "a powerful combination of cutting-edge technology, Citigroup's global corporate franchise and our borderless financial services."

The deal is an important score for Commerce One, who is jockeying for position in the B2B e-commerce sector with the powerful Ariba Inc. (ARBA) to sell their software platforms to major players in the industry. Commerce One and Ariba have also been dipping into other markets including auto manufacturing, chemical manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.